8 arrested at Antwerp school gates

The police of Antwerp this morning arrested 8 youngsters at the Royal Athenaeum in Hoboken because they violated a ban on demonstrations. The unrest is due to a ban on wearing the Muslim headscarf at the school that went into effect September 1.
A leftwing student organisation gathered before school opening this morning at the Royal Athenaeum in Hoboken to protest against the ban on headscarves.
They handed pamphlets out and urged students not to accept the ban.

Last Friday the mayor of Antwerp Patrick Janssens (Flemish socialist) had issued a ban on demonstrations at the school and the police quickly intervened this morning. "The police have detained 8 youngsters. A ninth person was detained during protests last week," says a police spokesman.

A group of Muslim women also gather before the school, but the women went on to the surrounding streets when the police arrived at the scene. Calm returned to the school and surroundings at about 11 a.m.

Vandals broke into the school and threw schoolbooks out the windows

The protest against the Muslim headscarf ban at the school continues. Vandals broke into the school during the night and spray painted slogans on doors of the school. They also threw school books out the windows.

The vandals spray painted the slogan 'No headscarf, no school' on the main door to the school. They also smashed a window to get inside the school.

"They went in through the side door and went to the administrative offices," says director of the school Chris Weyers. She goes on to explain, "They sabotaged the internet and jammed some doors. They took some paper and flung it around the hallway. They threw books that were laying out to be distributed out the window."

The police are investigating the incident. The director of the school thinks it was the work of the groups that are against the headscarf ban.